Music Festival Mania – A Photo Essay

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Before we began our vagabonding, we spent many of our precious vacation days chasing music festivals across North America in the summer.  Last year we had to break our string because we were in South America.  We made up for it a little bit by seeing the Cranberries live in Buenos Aires.  Hmmmm, maybe that was foreshadowing for our upcoming Irish adventure?

In honor of the upcoming summer festival season, we wanted to share our favorite memories of past festivals – from the extreme heat of Indio, California (Coachella), to the party atmosphere of Chicago (Lollapalooza), and finally to the beauty of the Gorge in Washington (Sasquatch).

If you are music junkies like us, you know what the allure of a good festival is all about.



Our favorite setting for a festival so far has been the Sasquatch Music Festival.

Coachella – 2007

Daft Punk – Lollapalooza 2008

I’m From Barcelona – Lollapalooza 2008

Thao Nguyen and The Get Down Stay Down – Sasquatch 2008

The Flaming Lips – Sasquatch 2008

The Decemberists – Sasquatch 2009

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Sasquatch 2009

The Airborne Toxic Event – Sasquatch 2009

M83 – Sasquatch 2009

Silversun Pickups – Sasquatch 2009

Death Cab for Cutie – Sasquatch 2008

The Flight of the Conchords – Sasquatch 2008

And a music festival is about expressing yourself, however that may be.

These two REALLY wanted to express themselves. They stole the show from The Decemberists (Sasquatch 2009), as tens of thousands of fans ignored the stage and watched these two up on the hill.  (We have great zoom on our camera!)

And this video Dalene captured at Sasquatch in 2008 is what it is all about, just letting go and enjoying the music.

(No tribute to music festivals would be complete without video of some crazy guy dancing!)

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    1. We actually don’t have a big telephoto lens, our Canon point-and-shoot (SX10, I think?) has a really good zoom. Oh, and we also try to get as close to the stage as possible for our favorite shows! We’re hard core! (ha)

  1. Best setting for a music festival?…Teluride,.Co. The bluegrass festival 3rd weekend of June. Surrounded by 14,000ft snowcapped peaks. Hard to beat..oh yeah, and the music is always awesome as well.

  2. Those are some fantastic festival pictures, and I love most of the bands featured ( some I haven’t heard of, but will check out…)

    When you say the Gorge, do you mean the Columbia River Gorge? That is where it looks like the photo was taken….

    1. Yup, it is the Columbia River Gorge. Breathtaking setting…truly…walking over the top of the hill and seeing the stage against the gorge is just an awesome sight!

  3. Wow you take such amazing photos! Lollapalooza and coachella are on my bucket list, i’d never heard of sasquatch before but I’m adding it!

    1. Thanks Penny! Sasquatch is definitely worth the visit for the setting alone. This year is their 10th anniversary and it looks like a pretty kick ass lineup!

  4. Good post! Too bad we didn’t run into each other at Coachella.. You need to check out Shambhala next time you’re up in this part of the world again.

  5. GREAT photos! The last photo, so funny. I remember you telling me about those 2 and how one almost fell off the cliff. Hee. I mean, less funny if she would’ve actually fallen, but… 🙂

    1. Wow, that’s rollin’ in style!! We usually end up in some trashy hotel or we did camp at the last Sasquatch. Music festivals I miss, fighting for the showers while camping, I do not! 🙂

  6. The Gorge, eh? I knew you two were Canadian, but now I’m thinking… Vancouver, yes?

    As a Seattleite, I too have been to a few concerts at the Gorge – the setting, purely divine! But perhaps even more awesome – have you been to Red Rocks in CO?

    1. Ahh close, Alberta, just south of Calgary. I have heard from many that Red Rocks is one of THE best venues for sound. I can’t wait to make it there at some point.

  7. Some outstanding acts. The Decemberists, M83m Silversun Pickups – these are some of our favorite bands.

    We love the music but I am not a big fan of music festivals. We have done Sasquatch a few times, but I can’t do the festival camping thing – camping is awesome, but not when you are 6 inches away from people who are tripping balls all night. 🙂

    1. Thanks guys! LOL, yeah, we hear you on the camping front. Last time we paid for the *upgraded* area and that gave us a little more space. Although there were some DB’s next to us and all they played on their booming stereo was U2, 24-7.

  8. Great shots, guys! We love festivals and always try to get to them – though it’s been years now since the last one (Rock en Seine in Paris, I think). Looks like you’ve been to heaps. Perhaps when you’re in Ireland you’ll get to go to some of the European festivals – the timing should be right (summer)

    1. That’s exactly what we are thinking!! We could easily go broke traipsing around to different festivals and concerts. Our favourite band (Arcade Fire) happens to be playing at an old church in Edinburgh on Sept 2nd…..HMMMMMM!!!

  9. I’ve never been to a music festival either, unless you count a Classic Rock concert at a campground my brother dragged me to. (Loverboy anyone?)

    Looks like fun though, I may have to give it go one day…

    1. Haha! I’ve seen Loverboy too in the exact same setting! Lead singer wore leather pants with no button (100 years old, I am sure), and they were rolled up with his white sneakers! Hilarious.

  10. We’ve never been to a music festival, either. Some parts sound awesome (Cranberries! Daft Punk! Death Cab for Cutie!) while other parts of the music festival scene sound less-than-appealing to us (crowds! more crowds! large drunk crowds!). I’m pulled in so many directions. 😛

    1. Yes, certainly there are times when the crowds get to you, but Sasquatch was great because you could just chill up on the hill and always have great views and sound. Coachella was our favorite festival to go to. It felt more about the music than the party scene.

  11. About Sasquatch 2009 — Ooh la la! Nicely done.

    My favorite music festivals have been the Chicago Blues Festival and Chicago Jazz Festival. Yes, I’m partial to Chicago!

    Looks like you guys had a great time!

    1. We LOVE Chicago too! Although Lollapalooza was probably our least fave of the three big festivals – too many young kids thinking it’s just a party and not enjoying the music (sheesh, how old do I sound??) The blues and jazz festivals there would be amazing, I am sure!

  12. You have some wonderful captures here! And boy have you been to quite a few music festivals! Really enjoyed this post, they’re not something I’ve been to often, but I do always enjoy festivals when I go! 🙂

    1. Thanks Shannon. We hope to get to some more festivals over in Europe this summer. There’s just something about open air, free spirit, and great music 🙂

  13. Fantastic photos! I normally go to Hard Rock Calling festival in London. It’s so much fun, but by the end of it my back hurts so much from standing up all day that I’m glad to get home and rest!

    1. Oh yes, it takes some stamina to enjoy a weekend long music festival – that’s for sure! I usually end up sun burnt with blisters and feeling like I’ve been hit by a bus. But, worth it!

    1. Haven’t made it to Bonnaroo, but it is on the list. Coachella had to be our favourite, more of a laid back feeling where people just enjoy the music. Sasquatch is kinda like that too, although it is getting crazier (like Lolla). Lolla usually has the best bands though!

    1. Yeah those 2 really did steal the show, so much the band on stage (The Decemberists) stopped to watch them at one point. And that video, every time we watch it it makes us smile 🙂 Cheers!

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